Grade 4 Via Ferrata Giovanni Lipella – Tofana de Rozes

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This post is part of a longer trip report. You can access the full table of contents here.

Tofana de Rozes had really caught my eye on the day we had climbed at Cinque Torre. Its walls looked mesmerizing, and I doubted it would be possible to climb to the top in one day.

Because of the bus timings, our day was limited substantially and setting off from the road to the Falzarego Pass meant that we added a couple of hundred meters of ascent and an extra hour to our route.

The weather was fantastic but having passed the Rifugio Dibona and started out on the traverse under the Tofana’s cliffs, we were directly in the sun the entire time. After some time, we reached the start of a tunnel which had initially been constructed to maintain a supply route that was otherwise under attack from the direction of Lagazuoi. It resembled that of a spiral staircase, leading us higher and higher up into the heart of the mountain.

We emerged onto the northern side of the mountain and proceeded along a series of ledges on the edge of a scree slope until we were entirely in the shade of the mountain. Below us, the trench fortifications were still visible as a large scar in the mountainside. These mountains are completely pockmarked with fortifications and hideouts.

At the end of the ledges the nature of the route changed dramatically – vertically. The jumble of protected sections passing over wet rock was pretty exhausting and reaching the turn off point to carry on to the top of the mountain really revealed how demanding a route this grade 4 via ferrata was.

We still had a further 500m of ascent to reach the top of the mountain. A little way before the top, our route joined up with the busier walking route. We descended this way, using the Rifugio Guissani as a marker. We had been lucky to be able to tackle the route without it being iced up.

Reaching the Rifugio, we passed it to continue plodding down back towards the road in the valley far below, too tired to join in the haphazard scree running that others seemed to be enjoying so much. Although we missed the last bus back, we were lucky enough to catch a ride back into Cortina.

To see what we got up to on the rest of our trip or if you are looking for planning advice, the full table of contents can be accessed here. Alternatively, go to the next article in this collection: Day 7 – Grade 3 Via Ferrata Michielli Strobel – Punta Fiames .

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